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Texas Official Who Cut Dead From Voter Rolls Resigns

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Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade, who presided over an effort this year to purge the deceased from state voter lists, will step down this week.

Andrade, the first Hispanic woman to hold the post, plans to leave the job Nov. 23, according to a statement posted on her office’s website. The San Antonio native owns a business and wants to do other things, said Rich Parsons, a spokesman. She also advises Governor Rick Perry on Mexican border issues.

The purge, begun just weeks before the Nov. 6 election, prompted a legal challenge and complaints from living voters who received letters advising them to contact officials to keep their registration active. State Representative Wayne Smith, a Baytown Republican, was among those who got such a notice. Under a settlement, the state put off a deadline for determining whether a voter had died and shouldn’t be registered.

State officials compared information about more than 76,000 voters with a database of the dead maintained by the U.S. Social Security Administration, Parsons said. The effort, which led to the removal of 6,000 deceased people from voting lists, followed directives contained in a Texas law enacted last year, he said.

As the first Hispanic woman to hold the office, Andrade “has a permanent place in our state’s history books,” Perry, a Republican who appointed her in July 2008, said in a statement. “I’m thankful for her service and I’m proud to call her a friend.”

To contact the reporter on this story: David Mildenberg in Austin, Texas, at dmildenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net.

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